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Bill Riley Talent Search 8.14.23

Bill Riley Talent Search 8.14.23

August 14, 2023

Talented Performers Advance to the Next Round of Bill Riley Talent Search

Five talented Sprout division acts (ages 2-12) and six Senior division acts (ages 13-21) have advanced to the semi-final round in Bill Riley's 63rd annual Iowa State Fair Talent Search. Each act will perform again on Thursday, August 17, Friday, August 18 or Saturday, August 19.

The names, ages, hometowns and routines of the sprouts acts are:

Emily Weiss, 11, and Mae Whipple, 12, Burlington, Tap Duet

Aria Telander, 18, Grimes, Lyrical Dance Solo

Vivian Speck, 9, Dayton, Vocal Solo

Mara Henn, 11, West Des Moines, Ballet Solo

Madden Oliver, 11, Milo, Vocal Solo with Sign Language

The names, ages, hometowns and routines of the senior acts are:

Lucy Gannon, 17, West Des Moines, Piano Solo

Makayla Beisel, 16, Clarion, Contemporary Dance Solo

Hannah Thomas, 18, Little Sioux, Vocal and Guitar Solo

Michael Widjaja, 19, Sergeant Bluff, Cornet Solo

Alyssa Speck, 18, Dayton, and Leo Loeffler, 15, Gowrie, Musical Theater Vocal Duet

Kaelyn Townsley, 15, Winfield, Tap Dance Solo

The Bill Riley Talent Search has put Iowa's young talent on stages across the state each summer since 1960. Nearly 100 local qualifying competitions are held across the state and winners advance to the State Fair competition, where there are seven days of preliminary competition for Sprouts (ages 2-12) and Seniors (ages 13-21), followed by the semi-finals and, ultimately, the selection of one Senior Champion. The Sprouts do not compete beyond the semi-finals, but perform in the Championship Show as Sprout Champions set for Sunday, August 20 at 1:30 p.m. on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage sponsored by Pepsi and media sponsor iHeart Radio.

More than $20,000 will be awarded to the Senior and Sprout divisions combined.